The Texas Library Association has released the 2014 Lone Star Reading List, a recommended reading list developed by librarians from schools and public libraries in Texas. The purpose of the list is to encourage students in grades 6, 7, and 8 to explore a variety of current books and to foster recreational reading.
I recently chatted with Lynn Head, Librarian and Media Specialist at Waller Jr. High, about this year’s Lone Star List.
Tell me a little about the Lone Star Reading List.
The Lone Star Reading list is an annual list of recently published books which have been favorably reviewed for recreational reading by educational or literary journals for students in grades 6, 7, or 8. The LSRL committee is made up by a chair, an administrative assistant, and eight public or school librarians in the state who work with students in that age range. It's a three year commitment, but worth every late night up reading.
If you look at the list, you'll see a book for just about every type of reader on there. We worked very hard to create a list that would appeal to students.
As a Jr. High School Librarian, how do you use the list to encourage students to read?
It's easy to encourage reading the Lone Star books! They're just such fantastic books, and I believe in them. To promote the list for this year, we have a Lone Star Readers club. When students read the required number of pages, they automatically become a Lone Star Reader. Their name is put on a star in the hall, and they are put on the field trip list. Last year we went to Blue Bell Aquatic Center--they were open just for us--and to have a picnic in Brenham. The plans for this year haven't been finalized yet, but it will be a fun, relaxing day.
I also keep a binder of photos and summaries of previous Lone Star books that students can browse through when they are looking for a good book and I am unavailable. Students can easily find those books on the shelves or place them on hold if they are unavailable.
I've heard of librarians doing "speed-dating" with Lone Star books. I think that sounds like a blast, and hope to try that next year.
Even when we do our book fairs, I am always promoting the Lone Star books with special displays and drawings.
2014 TEXAS LONE STAR READING LIST
Sasquatch in the Paint by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld.
Eighth grade science geek, Theo Rollins, grows 8 inches over the summer and encounters new challenges during the school year. Try these too: Travel Team by Mike Lupica Last Shot by John Feinstein
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau.
Malencia hopes to be chosen for The Testing, a program for the brightest graduates and a great honor for her family. When chosen, her father hints that the honor may be more of a nightmare, than a dream come true. Try these too: Legend by Marie Lu Divergent by Veronica Roth
W.A.R.P.: The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer.
A teen-aged FBI agent (in disgrace) and a young orphan trained as an assassin travel back and forth between Victorian and contemporary London via a wormhole. They become family as they battle evil through time. Try these too: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson Ripper by Stefan Petrucha
The Vengekeep Prophecies by Farrey Brian.
Jaxter Grimjinx comes from a long line of thieves, but his first solo heist gets him and his family thrown in jail. Luckily, a tapestry depicting his family as heroes protecting their town from various disasters appears. Unluckily, it was made from fateskein, which means the fates depicted on the tapestry will come true. Try these too: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner Plain Kate by Erin Bow
The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde.
A foundling girl, a quarkbeast, a little bit of old magic, two nations at war, a pinch of political intrigue, a whole lot of greed, and one last dragon equals a recipe for some really big magic. Try these too: Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill Slayers by C. J. Hill
Summer of the Mariposas. by Guadalupe Garcia McCall.
Five sisters, abandoned by their father and left to run wild by their mother, who's trying to keep the family together, find a dead body and decide to return it to Mexico which takes them on an adventure that brings Latin myths and legends to life. Try these too: The Odyssey by Homer The Unfortunate Son by Constance Leeds